Big Daddies Of HR Explore The Play Mode At MTHRG CxO Global Leaders Retreat 2018

The retreat offered a series of team building exercises, discussions, interactive sessions and a fun-filled excursion activity for the champions of HRs from across industries, some from events, sports and media, making it a great platform to learn while they played


Excellence comes in the play mode and MTHR Global, proved it right with its theme ‘Play’ at this year’s CxO Global Leaders Retreat held at Sunny’s World, which was indeed a unique experience in itself. The retreat offered a series of team building exercises, discussions, interactive sessions and a fun-filled excursion activity for the champions of HRs from across industries, some from events, sports and media, making it a great platform to learn while they played!

Mumbai-based MTHR Global (More Than HR Global), a leading Knowledge Community Pan India since 2002 brings people together who are passionate about sharing knowledge, network, and learning. Powered by 4 young HR Professionals Rajesh Gupta, Rajesh Kamath, Vipul Aggarwal and Keyur Jani loaded with rich experience of Old and New Economy Industries, the organisation today thrives with a passion for people and innovative ideas for HR, management, leadership and change!

Rajesh Kamath, Founder Member MTHR Global said, "We created MTHR in 2002 after studying all the existing HR groups then and found that there was a need to be an informal HR gathering. We observed that all other groups that existed before were very formal about events, learning and their gatherings were very monotonous and boring, as they only tend to look within the scope of their own organisations, but nothing beyond. So, we created ‘More Than HR Global’ to bring this approach to go little beyond HR. We, being little informal, bring in fun activities along, to facilitate learning with enjoyment. More than HR’s this year's theme is ‘play’ and we decided to get people in the ‘play mode’ that was quite unique, as I believe that excellence comes in the play mode.”

This year MTHR Global leaders retreat brought with it one of its kind of an effective learning tool Track of Sapience (TOS) devised by the Training firm 'Just Be', that was indeed an exhilarating experience for Corporate Leaders. The activity provided experiential learning from highly customized and thrilling motorsport activities such as Off-Roading, Time-Speed-Distance Rally, Convoy Drives and other unconventional and innovative experiences, which was covered live by Motorscribes.

The program was designed to motivate, challenge and stimulate the leadership teams with a ‘Convoy Driving’ experience which is a highly demanding exercise that requires experience and discipline. It is all about driving in a company of two or more vehicles starting from the same point, maintaining the same speed and heading to the same destination. This off-road driving activity not only rushed the adrenaline levels of the participants but at the same time was a brilliant exercise for team building. The Teams on board were required to conquer the unexpected challenges thrown in their path by using their creative thinking, communication, cooperation and motor skills by a challenging course that featured everything from blindfold driving to top up with steep inclines and tight turns.

Guramrita Oberoi Founder ‘Just Be’ talking about TOS said, “MTHR Global’s theme ‘play’ and our concept went very well together, since they wanted a unique experience to bring out the child in the delegates, so that they could to take them out to experience something unique, that they had never done before. So we suggested them a convoy drive followed by a blindfold driving activity, wherein we mapped the entire exercise and route before the activity."

Elaborating more on the activity Kanishk Malick Co-Founder Track of Sapience said "We travelled 80 km to Munshi Lake from Sunny’s world. We had lunch there at a village and then did a blindfold activity with the drivers who were navigated by people sitting in the car with opposite directions left being right and the right bring left. So, the driver and the navigator both were confused, and the driver would analyse if he is being told the right direction? To keep them under pressure we added more difficulties by giving a time limit of 10 minutes to finish the activity. Moreover, the entire route was marked with cones that didn't need to be touched, if touched, we deducted their points."

This year MTHR global leaders retreat activity saw registrations from 50 - 60 CHRO, CPO, VP-HRs from across organisations namely Reliance Capital Ltd., Oracle, Safal Group, NIIT, Avaya, First Data, Knight Frank, The Firm, Kotak Life, Emerson, Northern Trust, Société Generali, TE Connectivity, SAS, The Hindu, Basil HR, SREI, these being a few names.

Bhavesh Chandaria, Africa Head, Learning & Development, SAFAL Group talking on MTHRG initiative said, "I love situations that helps make me create impact for people and being an HR enthusiast MTHRG is a palace where I can tap into lovely people and their insights into HR. Being away in Africa I do not get an opportunity to have a face to face connect with the HR fraternity and when I am in India I ensure to attend MTHRG initiatives to meet industry colleagues here. So, the take away this year was good connections and warm relations. If we talk about corporate life, it does not unfold in office situations and has many surprises that are rough in the road and there comes interactions with people in various situations, and this kind of a set up again prepares and reshapes us to deal with different situations, differently.”

So how can the convoy experience help in instilling fun in Monotonous HR Roles and nurturing the teams?

“While before the convey expedition, the three members in the car had never met each other, but it just all clicked during the activity, we did the task together and won the task. It kind of got the child back in us sharpening our competitive edge too, which will help us go back and deliver to our role more earnestly. Instilling fun in the monotonous roles, and by inculcating things like trust-building was a take away from the exercise since to navigate blind situations we need trust, we need to communicate and instil confidence in our partner who was blindfolded. Since I was navigating and this is an earnest role since the blind person is trusting on you and so you need to be more conscious of your repercussions on others, as your one signal will affect somebody. To bring home even that realisation is a great take away from the exercise.”

“On nurturing the teams, yes it does as each situation makes you wiser and a better team manager although getting a right team coherence is a never-ending journey. I would certainly like to get my team into play mode and create a play like situations so that everyone excels” Added Bhavesh.

Kiran Chopra Global Head Learning and Development Invenio Business Solutions," MTHR is an excellent learning forum for me and the theme 'play' is all about reconnecting to your true self and explore the child in you and rather than projecting yourself to be mature professional adults, that was fun. I would like to continue with this relationship with all life coaches and mentors here. So it helps you evolve as a professional from just doing the same operations and monotonous work and also to take different tasks and evolve at your workplaces.”

Avinash Dixit, Ex VP HR Setco Automotive Ltd said, "I'm glad I was given an opportunity to drive in the blindfold exercise and I decided to follow completely whatever my navigator told me at that time. So the accuracy with which they gave me directions and my complete trust in them, that nothing will go wrong helped me. It also teaches, if you are good people are also good to you.”

Manoj Sharma CHRO Gabriel India said" This is my first retreat experience with MTHR. Meeting different people and listening to everyone's life experiences and insights on the team building activities, was fun yet insightful. I'm pleased to come to this event and look forward to many more initiative by MTHR"

The event saw discussions on the future of HR and the way ahead, as members suggested how this kind of informal HR setups can be expanded to different geographical regions. Bhavesh suggested and invited the MTHR Global HR Management Faculty to value-add and share their experiences at the conglomerate of PG level education institutes in Jamnagar Gujarat to mentor, train and share knowledge, as he said, “I offer MTHR members to adopt these MBA institutes to mentor the students there and also enjoy at the beautiful marine landscapes of Jamnagar as well as come to Ethiopia too, in some kind of an exchange program to share your vast knowledge”

Sunil Somarajan CHRO- Reliance Capital Ltd. drew attention on how corporates deal with the team building exercises “I like the concept of the training program like the convoy drive and the blindfold that were a team-building exercise. If you talk of reality, it’s ironical that corporates today don't spend on such team building exercises, as they hire already nurtured people, who come at a cost to the company. We have numerous internal team building exercises that are very different and take our employees to digital, and design building exercises that help build the Business culture of the organisation, wherein fun and team building exercises are carried to put across innovative ideas.”

“MTHR has grown significantly for last 17 years, brings to you perspectives of what entrepreneur minds are doing and thinking today. It brings to you talks from seniors of HR who talk about their professional experiences and the emotional journeys that is a very unique form of learning as you don't get to connect with quite often. Like last year we had someone who talked about building an 800 crore digital business that MTHR brought face to face to the table’ added Sunil.

So what is the driving force behind MTHR Global and its Business Model?

Rajesh Kamath, “We have always thought that why should anyone pay when he is keen to learn and that became our driving force to create this concept. We are the only informal HR group not only in India but the world that has organised all sorts of learning events, workshops for the HR fraternity without any single penny of the cost paid by the participants in the span of last 17 years. We include everyone from the HR be it consultants, Global HR heads, CHROs along with faculties or business tools, that we choose to add value with.

Vipul Aggarwal,” How we manage costs is a very simple sponsorship model. We look out for people who get benefitted through this kind of gatherings like this time Sunny’s world is sponsoring it. Also, some organisations want nothing but just want us to thrive and they sponsor the event. So irrespective of the fact who is in the ecosystem we are the platform to bring the HR community together.”

Kamath concludes by saying, “It was this time we did the driving expedition but in every single retreat we had different experiences. Like last time we did an exercise of learning harmonica and played a tune and a Jambi in 2 teams. So MTHR Global retreats are very close to an open system having no tapping of labels and hierarchy, it becomes more beautiful in its open informal format and we chose to remain that way!

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